July 2022 Newsletter Newsletter

Good and Bad News in Britain – July Update

Good News Britain

  • Peter Jouvenal, who featured in our Action Links in June, has now been freed by the Taliban along with the four other British nationals they held for more than six months. They have all now left Afghanistan.
  • The government has announced that it will waive the £1,012 child citizenship fee for children whose parents and guardians cannot afford it and for children in local authority care.
  • Supporters from England’s largest LGBTQ+ supporters’ group will not be travelling to Qatar for the football World Cup because of the country’s anti-gay laws and fears for their safety. 
  • The Prime Minister has approved, and government has published, the long-awaited final terms of reference for the COVID-19 Inquiry which will be chaired by the Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE. The Prime Minister accepted all of her recommended changes to the scope of the terms of reference, including putting consideration of inequality issues at the forefront of the investigation. 
  • To mark World Refugee Week, Little Amal, the giant puppet representing a refugee child looking for her mother who walked from Syria to the UK, walked from Manchester to Kent.
  • Cambridge University has launched a package of support for students and academics displaced by the war in Ukraine, including fully funded residential places for more than 30 people. Clinical placements for medical students and help for academics still working in Ukraine are included in the scheme.
  • A national monument was unveiled at Waterloo Station to celebrate the Windrush generation who came to Britain after the Second World War to help rebuild Britain.

Bad News Britain

  • On 28 June, the Nationality and Borders Bill came into effect, removing the human rights of refugees and creating a cruel 2-tier system.
  • On the day the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act came into force, 28 June, the police seized the hi-fi equipment of Steve Bray, the single noisy anti-Brexit protester who has been a fixture outside Parliament for the last six years. The Bill also expanded the ‘controlled area’ round Parliament, and so he will in future have to protest further away. Despite facing prosecution, he claims he will not be silenced! 
  • On 9 June two British men, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, serving as Ukrainian Marines in Mariupol, were sentenced to death as mercenaries by a court run by Pro-Russian officials in eastern Ukraine, despite both living in Ukraine and being enlisted in its army for a number of years. This means they have been deprived of the rights and protections offered prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. They have appealed.
  • The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has prevented the Aurora, a ship belonging to the British charity Search and Rescue Relief, from rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean, saying that it was only allowed to operate in UK territorial waters.
  • Nearly 246,000 EU citizens and their families are still waiting for their digital documentation proving their right to live in the UK a year after the settlement scheme closed. Without the biometric permits Europeans struggle to get jobs, rent homes, travel abroad and get NHS treatment. 
  • A survey of more than 10,000 nursing staff by the Royal College of Nursing suggested that racism was ‘endemic’ in health and care with white nurses twice as likely as their black and Asian colleagues to be promoted.
  • Only one per cent of more than 14,000 complaints made about police officers over one year led to misconduct proceedings. No action was taken in 92 per cent of cases; others were ‘withdrawn’, ‘resolved’, ‘discontinued’ or found to have ‘no case to answer’.
  • The Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed that it is investigating a number of strip-searches of children by the Metropolitan Police. These date from 2019 to 2022.